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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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Robert Patterson, family description, key to genera

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine. Leaf: simple or compound, cauline (or most basal), alternate or opposite; stipules 0. Inflorescence: cymes, heads, clusters, or flower 1; bracts in involucres or not. Flower: sepals generally 5, fused at base, translucent membrane generally connecting lobes, torn by fruit; corolla generally 5-lobed, radial or bilateral, salverform to bell-shaped, throat often well defined; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, attached at >= 1 level, filaments of >= 1 length, pollen white, yellow, blue, or red; ovary superior, chambers generally 3, style 1, stigmas generally 3. Fruit: capsule. Seed: 1–many, when wetted swelling or not, gelatinous or not.
26 genera, 314 species: America, northern Europe, northern Asia; some cultivated (Cantua, Cobaea (cup-and-saucer vine), Collomia, Gilia, Ipomopsis, Linanthus, Phlox). [Porter & Johnson 2000 Aliso 19:55–91] Leptodactylon moved to Linanthus. —Scientific Editors: Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Polemoniaceae


Robert Patterson & Carolyn J. Ferguson

1 sp. (Greek: small, to support, presumably referring to small size) [Cronquist 1984 Intermountain Flora 4:108]

M. gracilis (Hook.) Greene
Annual; generally glandular-hairy above. Stem: erect and simple to decumbent and much-branched, < 20 cm. Leaf: opposite below, often alternate above, 10–30 mm, oblanceolate to lanceolate. Flower: calyx 5–10 mm, membrane narrower than lobes; corolla tube 8–12 mm, ± yellow, lobes 1–2 mm, generally truncate or notched, bright pink (base white or not) to white; stamens, style included. Seed: gelatinous when wet.
2n=14. Dry to moist areas; < 3300 m. California; to British Columbia, Montana, Colorado, Mexico; also in South America. [Phlox gracilis (Hook.) Greene] Subspecies, varieties have been recognized; study needed. Mar–Aug [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Microsteris gracilis var. humilior (Hook.) Cronquist; Microsteris gracilis subsp. humilior (Greene) H. Mason, ined.]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Microsteris, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 29 2015

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click for enlargement Microsteris gracilis
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2006 Laura Ann Eliassen

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Microsteris gracilis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.